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I am awash. Deeply, soulfully and to the bone. I’m surrounded, but not attacked. I am sinking, yet rising too. Opening painfully, my heart speaks a thousand stories at once, most importantly it tells me – Thanks.

Not that I really did anything. Although, I didn’t realise just what sort of load the ol’ ticker had been carrying. As usual.

Yet somehow, the pressure’s been undone.

What remains surrounds me like a warm bath, with ever-so-gentle caresses, asking no questions, and breathing so much easier.

Kinda like this one endless summer day, when, living on the northern beaches of Sydney (paradise, and hardly anyone heads further north than Manly, the least stunning of the beaches on that peninsula)… I strolled the fifteen minute walk to my local – technically, Harbord beach, but colloquially known as Freshwater.

Not very large, as beaches go. A smallish but perfect cove dwarfed by rugged sandstone cliffs, tucked around the corner from north Manly’s shores. Crescent shaped, regardless of high or low tides. And, for a stretch of sand and water not far from the big ol’ city, incredibly beautiful and clear.

That day was one of many lazy Sundays I joyfully wasted inhaling the glory of the world.

It was soooo warm, but not too hot or humid. Just incredibly pleasantly warm. And Freshwater on that day (but also many others), lived up to its name: fresh and clear. Not too salty. And perfectly bath-water warm.

Even better though, since this bathwater never gets cold, doesn’t leave you shivering with a sudden need to get out. And the sun is pleasantly shining. There’s no wind. A perfect beach day burned into my hard drive, filed under “utter perfection”.


I tarried, swimming lazy laps the length of the beach, floating and doing back flips. Strolling the edges, spying on fish schools and lying across the smaller cliff flats, soaking up the radiating warmth, easing tension from my shoulders.

Stone, sky and water and I was blissfully happy, wanting nothing else. Perfectly content just to be.

And while it’s not quite like that now, there’s an evocation of that particular day going on. Not that I’m trying to get back there, just, remembering the comfort it gave my heart, broken as it was at the time.

Actually, I’m convinced my heart’s been broken for years and years on end now, never really healing as I plunged headlong from one inappropriate romance to another… and reaching the end of that line with a violent punch in the face.

My heart, while it’s still managed to break since then (but not over romance), hasn’t been available for the past few years either – and to this day it wears its ‘Closed for Business’ sign, truth be told.

But finally, its telling me stories, many stories, and I’ve pulled up a comfy chair, cat on my lap, having grabbed the largest pot of tea I can muster, to sit there and listen…